At any construction site, one of the most important things that need to be ensured is safety of the people working there and for this construction site safety, training is very important. Having the best safety controls in place at the construction site is pointless, if workers aren’t aware of the hazards that work in the building industry can present. Further, keeping in mind, the ever changing construction industry and its complex environment, hazards and risk levels, the presence of heavy equipment like backhoe loaders performing complex tasks, general construction induction training assumes all the more importance.
What does the training provide?
General construction induction training provides basic knowledge of construction work including safe work practices, risk management, safety signs, personal safety protection and fire safety equipment to the new workers at the construction site.
In simple words, the general construction induction training program informs workers about the hazards and risks in the construction industry, basic risk management principles and the standard of behaviour expected from them on construction sites. This training should be undertaken by persons working in general construction (commercial and civil) as well as those in the residential construction sector.
Who should undertake the training?
- The training is recommended for all persons who carry out construction work, including site managers and supervisors, surveyors, labourers and trades persons
- All persons who access operational construction zones unaccompanied or not directly supervised by an inducted person should also take this training
- The training is also recommended for persons whose employment causes them to routinely enter operational construction zones.
For all other people at the construction site, the need for this training should be determined by a risk assessment. The person in control of the construction project or work should determine this by examining:
- The nature of the work to be performed and the level of risk associated with those tasks
- The circumstances in which the work will be undertaken, e.g. the parts of the site that the person is required or permitted to access, the level of direct interaction with the construction process and other factors
What is covered under the training program?
The training program covers the following health and safety topics:
- Identifying and understanding roles, responsibilities and rights of duty holders and workers
- Information about occupational hazards and safety measures
- Details about the procedure for raising issues and reporting unsafe conditions
- Applying the principles of risk management
- Identifying hazards
- Assessing risks
- Controlling risks
- Monitoring and review
- Identifying common hazards and control measures
- Manual handling problems
- Identifying hazardous substances and dangerous goods
- Plant and equipment inspection and maintenance
- Ensuring electrical safety
- Issues related to excavations (including trenches)
- Issues related to confined spaces or unplanned collapse
- Issues related to hot and cold working environments
- Informing about safe work practices
- Issues with drugs, alcohol and smoking
- Repercussions of bullying/harassment
- Highlighting the need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Elaborating emergency procedures
- Accident and incident reporting
- Workers’ accident and incident reporting
- Compensation and injury management
In a nutshell
General induction is given to the workers at the time of their entry in the industry before commencing construction work. However, the training may be repeated when the person with control of the construction work decides that there is a dire need for re-training. They can determine the need through supervision, incidents, risk management or when a person re-enters the industry after an extended absence.
To sum up, like pointed before, there are many benefits of undertaking general induction training and the first and foremost is safety at the construction site. This safety can be highly compromised if the workers/operators don’t know how to avert accidents while using heavy equipment like backhoe loaders and other problems. Hence, it is advisable to take this training at the right time.